Sunday, April 05, 2009

April Victoria, 1990

Laura Ashley designs in 1990. You could get the patterns or buy them ready made at LauraAshley stores and catalogs. (Click picture for a detailed view)

As discussed in the previous post, the late 1980's and early 1990's were glory days for ladies clothing. For the first time in a hundred years, the dresses had quite a bit of yardage in them, with fuller skirts and longer hems. The variety of sleeves was interesting and endless. Collars, and interesting necklines abounded. Styles were not too tight.

The little- girl dresses that you see in the above picture, were also available in ladies sizes, and they looked good on everyone. It was a simple blouse with a collar, attached to a pleated or gathered skirt, which hung loosely at the waist, and yet did not look or feel frumpy. The cottons were very high quality. To own one of these garments was a thrill. The skirt, white blouse and sweater style was available in other colors. Some people called it the "Mommy Look" but I saw these styles worn to formal occasions. It was something you could wear at home, and still feel dressed up if you had to go somewhere.
The Victoria Magazine usually featured England in their spring issue. This issue featured a tour of Jane Austen's home.

Ads in this issue would inspire an artist. Notice the model near the window in her Victorian style dress, a very popular design at that time.

The models in this issue were very feminine.

Even the ads for home furnishings were pretty.

Photography for this issue was wonderful . Imagine taking hot tea in front of a window on a rainy afternoon.
The patterns below are shown in rather dull prints and colors, but in the stores they were of very good fabrics with irresistable florals and solids; bright, clear colors, and everyone that wore them felt glorified. Sewn, they were just as beautiful and they fit well. These patterns were made for WOVEN, natural fabrics, and I do not remember ever having to adjust them or measure or anything.


Clare said...

I'm so in love with that pink bedroom! Truly a girl's dream haven. Somehow even growing up with six brothers I managed to become severely attached to pink. :D

Jessica said...

I loved the picture of the mother and daughter in floral prints!My sisters and I used to have dresses similar to what the little girl was wearing. We would wear pretty floral dresses to school and everywhere we went. My grandma and other women in my family still wear the long floral skirts. They have been told that they are overdressed, and the skirts are dated. At times I have also received the same response from other people. It's a real shame that people do not value feminine clothing like they used to!

Anonymous said...

Once again beautiful. Maybe in 20 years we will have another revival and hopefully it will be lot longer.

Mary said...

I used to have all of these Victoria magazines. Wish I had kept them all! But, Victoria started republishing last year, and I have subscribed.

Sure do miss those Laura Ashley designs.

Homemaking with Homemaker Barbi said...

HI! It was very nice to stumble upon your blog from the 50s housewife site. Gorgeous photos and graphics.

Danelle Ice from Homemaker Barbi

Marqueta (Mar-kee-ta) G. said...

Thank you, dear Lady Lydia, for sharing these photos!

I truly believe that the way to make these styles come back is for each of us to simply wear them every day. In that way, others may become inspired to do the same, and the ripple effect will occur to a great extent.

Thank goodness for beautiful, feminine magazines such as Victoria!



Anonymous said...

I bought my two oldest girls adorable winter dresses from laura Ashley and one for me as well. I copied the style to make a dress for my youngest girl. Our family picure from 1991 has all of dressed in Laura Ashley. They were expensive, but the littlest girl wore all of those dresses until they were completely worn out. They were wonderful.

Gail said...

I never realized it at the time, but you are right about the feminine clothing of the 80's-90's.
This was the time when I was having my babies and wore lots of hand-me-downs, but they were all very conservative and pretty. Regarding maternity clothes, it seems that the style lately is to wear non-maternity maternity clothes. "Clothes that are clingy" and to me, kind of trashy. And yet, those empire waist/princess style tops that we used to identify with maternity are being worn by the young women who AREN'T pregnant. I'm sure it has some kind of psychological meaning, but what?

Dawn said...

There are a few modest clothing websites that to still make dresses like these for mother and daughters. Thank God for that!

I grew up in the 80's and 90's but was too young to remember what the fashion was back then, either that or I just didn't pay any attention.

The magazine has some beautiful photos!

Maybe eBay has some back issues of the magazine for those who would like older issues. :-)

You know, 1990 was all that long ago, and now look at the styles of tight, painted on, clingy trampy rags.
Once in a great while stores like WalMart or American Eagle, GAP, etc will sell something decent but with summer on it's way in a few months all the good stuff is gone and has been replaced with things I wouldn't even call clothing.

Praising God for modest Sisters in Christ \o/


. said...

What a lovely blog you have :)

I think that the pictures in the older issues of Victoria are actually much simpler and elegant. The clothing in these photos are so feminine and pretty.

I think these styles are great to wear on an everyday basis. They need not be saved just for special ocassions. Just lovely.

Rosemary said...

I have quite a number of old victoria issues that i would give to any of your interested readers, as long as they pay postage :) I think the old issues were the best :)

Lydia said...

Rosemary, There are a couple of my oldest issues that are brittle and in bad shape. If you could give a list of the ones you have, I might be interested in replacing a couple of mine

faerieeva said...

Oh.. you were so much more lucky in the USA than we were in Belgium at that time. It was extremely difficult for me to find a nice dress or skirt during these days. But I do remember in the late eighties a magnificent blouse in my wardrobe as a little girl. It made me feel so grown up and lady like. My aunt called it a Lady Di blouse. It was white with a thin blue stripe and a beautiful ruffled collar. I think I wore it till I absolutely could not fit into it anymore. Now I feel nostalgic for that blouse. In general I have a preferance for a more medieval and renaissance inspired style than Victorian and Edwardian, but that blouse really had such magnificent craftsmanship I still remember it!

Lydia said...

In the above article, at the end, I posted a few of the Laura Ashley patterns that I had made in the 1983 to about 1992.

Marlaine said...

Remember Gunne Sax dresses? What a thrill it was for me to get a Gunne Sax dress my senior year of high school ('81)--an exciting day! :-)

Jessica said...

The patterns you added are beautiful! I hope that they will become popular again!

Anonymous said...

I love Laura Ashley dresses, I collect them !
I buy them on e.bay uk for very cheap, I live in France and the shipping cost is quite cheap.
I started my collection 4 years ago, and I own about 25/30 different wonderful dresses from the 80's now
I enjoy wearing them, I know people find me quite strange, but I don't mind !
Muriel in France

Jenny said...

The pictures and patterns are lovely. Thank you so much for sharing.

lindsey said...

I have saved a number of my Laura Ashley dresses and also some belonging to my daughters. My second daughter now has twin girls of 17 months and we have been buying little LA dresses from charity shops and ebay for them, they look so sweet.

txmom2jami said...

I subscribed to "Victoria" magazine for years and I remember those dresses so well. They were just lovely!

Caroline said...

I cannot thank you enough for posting these scans of old Victoria mags. Though I was just a child, I remember these editions so well. It is nice to be able to save these picture to my files to look on when I am feeling down or in need of inspiration.
I feel that I must immediately run out and buy a cotton dress now, as well!
xoxo KB

Anonymous said...


I just stumbled across this site literally five minutes ago!! Excellent!! Lydia, you might like to add it to your sidebar links...



As Simply As We Can said...

I discovered the Victoria magazine in the late 80's in my early teen years and fell in love with it. I looked forward to every issue and poured over every page, practically memorizing them. As a matter of fact, alot of the pages you have been sharing ~ I remember. I have not yet looked at the new Victoria magazine that is out now. I have heard it is not the same as it's predecesor. But surely it has to be better than all the other so-called ladies magazines out there? I'll have to take a look at one and see. Thank you for sharing these pages that I haven't seen in so many years. A wonderful reminder to slow down and take care of the sweet details of the day.

As Simply As We Can said...

I just had a thought reading through all the comments about the dresses. If you Google the "Vermont Country Store", they always have some dresses in stock that are sweet and beautiful and that have that nice, old fashioned feel. Their quality is very good too. I know of one lady whose dresses from them are still in good condition after ten years. If you have never been to that site, it is well worth your time.

Rosemary said...

Lydia, most of the ones i have are 1999 and newer. I thought i had older issues, but i guess this is all i have left.